Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez survived fast greens and tough pin placements at the Muirfield Gold Links to take the second round lead at The 2013 Open Championship. Jimenez, affectionately dubbed The Mechanic due to is workman-like demeanor and appearance, posted an even-par 71 to finish at 3-under par, one stroke lower than Tiger Woods, who also shot even-par to finish moving day at 2-under par.
While the sun was shining and inclement weather wasn’t a factor, Muirfield held her own as a chorus of golfers fell off the leaderboard with alarming consistency. Lee Westwood played a brilliant first 12 holes, before stumbling home with three bogeys in the final six holes, and still posting the lowest round of the day with a 3-under par 68. Westwood would join Woods at 2-under for the tournament, along with Henrik Stenson and Dustin Johnson.
Gallery favorite Phil Mickelson four-putted the 15th hole on his way to a round of 74 and 1-over after two rounds. Brandt Snedeker also four-putted the 15th on his way to a gruesome round of 79. Rory McIlroy, winner of two major championships, and with the weight of the Irish nation on his young shoulders, shot a 75 to miss the cut, as did reigning US Open champion Justin Rose.
Former Masters winners Angel Cabrera and Zach Johnson tied for sixth place at 1-over par for the tournament, joining Rafael Cabrera-Bello and Martin Laird. The leaderboard displayed an eclectic class of players: some long off the tee (Woods, Cabrera, Dustin Johnson, Bello) with the others pinpoint on their approach shots and crafty around the greens (Jimenez, Westwood, Zach Johnson). Muirfield has essentially become a survival test, a war of attrition to determine the best golfer in the world over four brutal rounds.
With favorite Tiger Woods laying in the weeds, stalking the leaderboard and a chance to win his 15th major championship, it was Jimenez who methodically wrenched his way around Muirfield to quietly grab the lead at the midpoint of the Open Championship.
Third round play resumes tomorrow at the iconoclastic links course in East Lothian, Scotland.